Published: January, 2018
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Rome, Italy

If you are bringing kids, buy the book, ‘This is Rome,’ by M. Sasek in advance and take it with you- read it to kids while you are there and take notes during downtime/meals. I promise it will be an amazing keepsake and memory jogger!
— Cynthia Pillsbury
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Family, City
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Ideal length of trip: 4 DAYS

to & from

Any non-stop flights from US but an easy city to get to via train or other larger city airports.

Where to Stay

Hotel Ponte Sisto: 4 star hotel with a great breakfast. They have a perfect suite with two rooms that are connected and a terrace – ideal for families with 3 kids- which is trickier in Europe to find.  The location of the hotel was central and convenient.

Where to Eat and Drink

  • The best part of Rome is that you can’t really find yourself in a place that does not have great pasta and pizza. While it’s not as good as Florence, or other more Northern Italian cities, the food is always decent and kids can always find something to eat.
  • Simple Trattorias are everywhere- it’s not as important to make reservations, but just find a place to eat that fits with where you are sightseeing and when you are hungry.
  • La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali- Near Rome and the Colosseum is a family run, charming spot with great food.
  • Ristorante Maccheroni (near the Piazza Navona) was our favorite meal- had a local vibe, delicious pastas.
  • La Scala- In a very cool, less touristy party of town, Trastevere and in a small piazza that was perfect for a pick up game of soccer and tag for the kids while parents sipped Chianti.

What to Do

  • Rome is an epic European city and one of the best parts of the city is that you can get a sense of the history just by walking around.
  • Ancient Rome & The Colosseum- Must see and ideally with a local guide. Go early for less crowds and plan on spending a few hours and getting lunch in the neighborhood after.
  • Piazza Venezia- EPIC Piazza, incredible sculptures and tombs, seemed like the heartbeat of Rome.
  • Galleria Spada-Famous for it’s forced perspective gallery and the façade of the building.
  • Spanish Steps- wonder around the Piazza and get a drink along the steps while your kids run up and down them! There is a chic, high fashion area near the Spanish Steps worth walking through for people watching.
  • Pantheon- Former temple, now Church, very well preserved and worth a quick stop.
  • Vatican City- Worthwhile to see, but proceed with caution- you MUST go early or you will be in a sea of crowds. The favorite party of the Vatican visit was viewing the Michangelo drawings and climbing up to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica– which is not east feat-320 steps along a very narrow walkway. The view is well worth it, best view of the Vatican City and surrounding Rome.

inside scoop

  • Hire a private tour guide (especially if with kids) of Ancient Rome and Vatican City. Plan one/day. Fabio Luciani- specializes in bringing to life history for kids.
  • Summer brings heat and crowds to Rome, plan visiting tourist sites as early in the day as possible.
  • Incorporate as much time to wonder around as possible- check out as many Piazzas as you can- they are incredible and the best place to get a gelato and take in the scene.
  • Build in rest times at the hotel (loved having a terrace so while the kids slept I sat outside, gazing over the Roman rooftops and read.
  • Lower expectations of food in Rome, it’s more about the setting than the food.
  • If you are bringing kids, buy the book, This is Rome by M. Sasek in advance and take it with you- read it to kids while you are there and take notes during downtime/meals of what you just did. I promise it will be an amazing keepsake and memory jogger!

Rome, Italy - Suggestions from the Oliver Community

  • Cynthia Pillsbury Says

    According to Oliver Guide author Kristen Kratus touring Rome by golf cart is a fun way to see a lot of sights.
    and Imago Artis ( is a great resource for setting up tours of Ancient Rome and The Vatican.

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